How long does it take to do the Camino de Santiago? This is the ultimate question! Walking the Camino de Santiago can take weeks or even months, but it will ultimately depend on the route you choose and how much time you have at your disposal.
While there is a perception that ‘The Camino’ is one single trail, there are in fact many different Camino de Santiago routes, although the Camino Frances, which has its starting point in the French town of St Jean Pied de Port, is the best known.
The Camino Frances is nearly 800kms (500 miles) long and takes approximately five weeks to complete on foot.
Some of the Camino de Santiago routes are quite short like the Camino Ingles from Ferrol or A Coruna; and some of them quite epic, for instance the Via de la Plata from Seville or the Le Puy Camino or Via Podiensis which starts in the middle of France.
There are thousands of kilometres of Camino de Santiago trails, across Spain, Portugal, France and beyond but pilgrims can start at any point along the routes. While most pilgrims tackle the Camino journey on foot, it is also possible to cycle the trails or even travel on horseback.
Here’s a quick and easy overview of each of the main Camino de Santiago routes and how long it takes to walk each of them:
The Camino Frances starts in the town of St Jean Pied de Port, 800kms away from Santiago de Compostela. It takes approximately 35 days to walk, walking an average distance of 20 to 25kms per day. Bear in mind, if you are walking the whole route, it is highly recommended taking a rest day after 5-6 days of walking.
Not all pilgrims walk all the way from St Jean, with many starting their Camino further along the trail, from cities such as Pamplona, Burgos, Leon or Ponferrada.
The town of Sarria in Galicia, 111kms away from Santiago, is in fact the place where the highest number of pilgrims start their journey. Over 96,000 pilgrims started their Camino in Sarria in 2019, nearly 27% of all Camino pilgrims registered by the pilgrim office that year.
It takes five days to do the Camino from Sarria and since you will be walking the last 100kms into the Cathedral, you will be able to get your Compostela pilgrim certificate.
Lisbon marks the start of the traditional Camino Portugues route, some 620kms from Santiago. It generally takes 28 days to walk the whole route from Portugal’s capital, although the city of Porto in the North of the country is a far more popular choice.
Walking 250kms from Porto to Santiago on the Camino Portugues will take a couple of weeks.
The town of Tui, in Galicia, 100kms from Santiago, is another popular place to start the Camino Portugues, as it can be walked in 5 days and covers the required distance for the Compostela certificate.
COASTAL CAMINO PORTUGUES
Porto is also where the traditional Camino Portugues can be swapped for the scenic Coastal Camino Portugues trail that follows the Atlantic Ocean north towards Galicia. It is 260kms long and will take you approximately 12 days to walk, although we recommend spending some time in Porto to explore the city and spending a rest day halfway through your journey.
CAMINO FISTERRA AND MUXIA
This Camino to Cape Finisterre and then on to Muxia is 120kms long and takes 5-6 walking days to complete in full, 4 if you are only walking from Santiago to Finisterre.
It is possible to walk it from Santiago or from Muxia to Santiago, so you can get your Compostela.
CAMINO DEL NORTE
Starting in Irun, in the Basque Country on the Spanish-French border, the Camino del Norte is one of the longest at 820kms. Walking the full Camino del Norte will take you approximately 5 weeks.
However, you can also start from other lovely towns and cities along the route, or do different stretches of the trail. Walking from Gijon for instance will take you approximately two weeks, and in 8 days you can walk from Ribadeo (180kms).
The Camino Ingles is the shortest of the Camino de Santiago routes. It has two possible starting points: Ferrol or A Coruna, both in Northern Galicia. From Ferrol, pilgrims walk 120kms to Santiago over 6 days and just 75kms separate Santiago from A Coruna, which can be walked in 4 days.
The Camino Primitivo, the oldest Camino route, is 310kms long. It takes 14 days to walk the full route from its starting point: the city of Oviedo, in Asturias.
Those looking to skip the most challenging sections of this walking trail, can start from the city of Lugo instead, 100kms away from Santiago, which can easily be walked in 5 days.
VIA DE LA PLATA
The Via de la Plata, also known as the Camino Mozarabe, crosses the Iberian Peninsula from South to North and is the longest Camino route at 970kms. Walking this whole Camino route from the city of Seville would take approximately 36 days.
In 5 walking days you can do the Camino from Ourense, a wonderful historic city in Galicia.
CAMINO DE INVIERNO
This relatively unknown route recently marked is 260km long, taking an alternative route from Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela. It will take you two weeks to walk the route.
LE PUY CAMINO – VIA PODIENSIS
The Camino de Santiago from Le Puy, Via Podiensis, is 730kms long and joins the Camino Frances at St Jean Pied de Port, which is another 790kms. This means pilgrims looking to walk all the way from Le Puy to Santiago will be embarking on an epic 1500km trek which could take nearly three months, taking into account you’d need to add a few resting days along the way.
We hope we answer your question: How long does it take to do the Camino de Santiago?Contact Us